Advertisement

Western Balkans Transitions and the Role of the European Union

  • Roberto BelloniEmail author
Chapter
  • 265 Downloads
Part of the Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies book series (RCS)

Abstract

This chapter discusses the main economic, security and political developments throughout the 2000s emerging in the region following the EU’s new, ambitious role. Although the region achieved considerable progress in all areas, hard-to-resolve problems continued to hinder the peacebuilding transition. Then, it focuses on the EU’s attempt to formulate a viable policy to address the remaining challenges. The contradictions and hesitations of the EU approach are identified and assessed. By the end of the decade the enlargement prospect became increasingly intangible. Western Balkan states became stuck in a grey zone between integration into the EU and isolation. They lived in a condition of ‘permanent transition’ without any certainty about their political future.

Keywords

Unemployment Crime Self-determination claims 

References

  1. Balfour, R., & Stratulat, C. (Eds.). (2015). EU member states and enlargement towards the Balkans. Brussels: European Policy Centre.Google Scholar
  2. Bartlett, W. (2008). Europe’s troubled region. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Bartlett, W. (2015). The political economy of accession: Forming economically viable member states. In S. Keil & Z. Arkan (Eds.), The EU and member state building: European foreign policy in the Western Balkans (pp. 209–232). London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Bartlett, W., & Prica, I. (2013). The deepening crisis in the European super-periphery. Journal of Balkan and Near Eastern Studies, 15(4), 367–382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barlett, W., & Uvalić, M. (Eds.). (2013). Social consequences of the global economic crisis in South East Europe. London: London School of Economics and Political Science.Google Scholar
  6. Bassuener, K., & Weber, B. (2013). House of cards: The EU’s ‘reinforced presence’ in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Sarajevo/Berlin: Democratization Policy Council.Google Scholar
  7. Bechev, D. (2012). The periphery of the periphery: The Western Balkans and the Euro crisis. Bruxelles: European Council on Foreign Relations.Google Scholar
  8. Beha, A. (2015). Disputes over the 15-point agreement on normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia. Nationalities Papers, 43(1), 102–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Belloni, R. (2008). State building and international intervention in Bosnia-Herzegovina. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Bieber, F. (2011a). The Western Balkans after the ICJ opinion. In J. Rupnik (Ed.), The Western Balkans and the EU: ‘The hour of Europe’. Paris: Institute for Security Studies.Google Scholar
  11. Bieber, F. (2011b). Building impossible states? State-building strategies and EU membership in the Western Balkans. Europe-Asia Studies, 63(10), 1783–1802.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bieber, F. (2016, June). Ever farther union: Balkans and the Brexit (Resource document). Nations in Transit Brief. www.freedomhouse.org. Accessed 2 November 2016.
  13. BiEPAG (Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group). (2015). Western Balkans and the EU: Beyond the autopilot mode. Graz.Google Scholar
  14. Blagovcanin, S., & Divjak, B. (2015). How Bosnia’s political economy holds it back and what to do about it? Washington: John Hopkins University-Center for Transatlantic Studies.Google Scholar
  15. Capussela, A. L. (2015). State-building in Kosovo: Democracy, corruption and the EU in the Balkans. London and New York: I.B. Tauris.Google Scholar
  16. Chivvis, C. S. (2010). The Dayton dilemma. Survival, 52(5), 47–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Cohen, L. J., & Lampe, J. R. (2011). Embracing democracy in the Western Balkans: From post-conflict struggles to European integration. Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Centre Press; Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Cooley, L. (2019). The European Union’s approach to conflict resolution: Transformation or regulation in the Western Balkans? London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  19. Del Ponte, C. (2009). La caccia. Io e i criminali di guerra. Milano: Feltrinelli.Google Scholar
  20. Delević, M. (2007, July). Regional cooperation in the Western Balkans (Chaillot Paper no. 104). Paris: Institute for Security Studies.Google Scholar
  21. DG Enlargement. (no date). The instrument for pre-accession assistance: An overview. Brussels: Financial Instruments Directorate.Google Scholar
  22. Duhacek, D. G. (2015). The women’s court: A feminist approach to in/justice. European Journal of Women’s Studies, 22(2), 159–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Elbasani, A. (2008). EU enlargement in the Western Balkans: Strategies of borrowing and inventing. Journal of Southern Europe and the Balkans, 10(3), 293–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Emerson, M. (2008, October). Recalibrating EU policy towards the Western Balkans (Policy Brief No. 175). Brussels: Center for European Policy Studies.Google Scholar
  25. Erceg, T. (2008, July 8). Less than a third of Croats favour EU. Balkan Insight.Google Scholar
  26. ESI (European Stability Initiative). (2008). The white list project: EU policies on visa-free travel for the Western Balkans. Berlin, Brussels, and Istanbul: ESI.Google Scholar
  27. ESI (European Stability Initiative). (2014). Vladimir and Estragon in Skopje. Berlin, Istanbul, and Sarajevo: ESI.Google Scholar
  28. Eurobarometer. (2011). Public opinion in the European Union. August, no. 75.Google Scholar
  29. European Commission. (no date). Instrument for pre-accession assistance (IPA). https://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/en/funding/ipa/. Accessed 9 June 2013.
  30. European Commission. (2006, November 8). Enlargement strategy and main challenges 2006–2007. COM (2006) 649, Brussels.Google Scholar
  31. European Commission. (2009, October 14). Kosovo under UNSCR 1244/99 2009 progress report (Commission staff working document). COM (2009) 533.Google Scholar
  32. European Commission. (2012, October 10). Commission communication on a feasibility study for a SAP between the EU and Kosovo (Commission staff working document). COM (2012) 602.Google Scholar
  33. European Council. (1993, June 21–22). Presidency conclusions, Copenhagen. http://ue.eu.int/ueDocs/cms_Data/docs/pressData/en/ec/72921.pdf. Accessed 5 June 2009.
  34. Fischer, M., & Petrović-Ziemer, L. (Eds.). (2013). Dealing with the past in the Western Balkans: Initiatives for peacebuilding and transitional justice in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia (Berghof Report 18). Berlin: Berghof Foundation. Google Scholar
  35. Fouéré, E. (2014). Bilateral disputes—A dark cloud over the Balkans. Brussels: Centre for European Policy Studies.Google Scholar
  36. Füle, S. (2013, October 16). Enlargement package 2013. Speech by EU commissioner Stefan Füle, European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs, SPEECH/13/816/. http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-13-816_en.htm. Accessed 4 April 2015.
  37. Gligorov, V. (2008, March 27). Trade, investments and development in the Balkans. Vienna: The Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies.Google Scholar
  38. Gogova, I., & Radoslavova, B. (2001). Croatia on the road to EU membership. Central Europe Review, 3(14), 3–5.Google Scholar
  39. Grabbe, H. (2006). The EU’s transformative power: Europeanization through conditionality in central and eastern Europe. London: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  40. Grabbe, H., Knaus, G., & Korski, D. (2010). Beyond wait-and-see: The way forward for EU Balkan policy. Bruxelles: European Council on Foreign Relations.Google Scholar
  41. Hamilton, A. (2014). Germany’s foreign policy towards Kosovo. A policy perspective. Pristina: Pristina Council on Foreign Relations.Google Scholar
  42. Hänggi, H., & Tanner, F. (2005, July). Promoting security sector governance in the EU’s neighbourhood (Chaillot Paper no. 80). Paris: EUISS.Google Scholar
  43. Hills, A. (2004). Border security in the Balkans: Europe’s gatekeepers (Adelphi Paper 371). Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press for International Institute for Strategic Studies.Google Scholar
  44. Husejnović, M., & Ahmetasević, N. (2006, September 21). Regional justice: Bosnia-Herzegovina holds back from prosecution agreement. BIRN.Google Scholar
  45. ICG (International Crisis Group). (2007, February 15). Ensuring Bosnia-Herzegovina’s future: A new international engagement strategy. Sarajevo: ICG.Google Scholar
  46. Kathuria, S. (2008). Western Balkan integration and the EU: An agenda for trade and growth. Washington, DC: The World Bank.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Ker-Lindsay, J. (2009). Kosovo: The path to contested statehood in the Balkans. London and New York: I.B. Tauris.Google Scholar
  48. Ker-Lindsay, J. (2017). The United Kingdom and EU enlargement in the Western Balkans: From ardent champion of expansion to post-Brexit irrelevance. Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, 17(4), 555–569.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Ker-Lindsay, J., & Armakolas, I. (2017). Lack of engagement? Surveying the spectrum of EU member state policies towards Kosovo. Pristina: Kosovo Foundation for Open Society.Google Scholar
  50. Kochenov, D. (2004). Behind the Copenhagen façade: The meaning and structure of the Copenhagen political criterion of democracy and the rule of law. European Integration Online Papers, 8(10), 1–24. http://www.eiop.or.at/eiop/pdf/2004-010.pdf.
  51. Kostic, R. (2017). Shadow peacebuilders and Diplomatic counterinsurgencies: Informal networks, knowledge production and the art of policy-shaping. Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, 11(1), 120–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Kostovicova, D. (2016). Reaction to Brexit around Europe: How the result affects the Balkans. LSE Blogs. www.blogs.lse.ac.uk. Accessed 15 December 2016.
  53. Krasniqi, G., & Musaj, M. (2015). The EU’s ‘limited sovereignty-strong control’ approach in the process of member state building in Kosovo. In S. Keil & Z. Arkan (Eds.), The EU and member state building: European foreign policy in the Western Balkans (pp. 140–162). London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  54. Latal, S. (2009, March 10). Bosnians hope threat of new war will fade. Balkan Insight.Google Scholar
  55. Leroux-Martin, P. (2014). Diplomatic counterinsugency: Lessons from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  56. Lobjakas, A. (2009, April 13). The EU’s invisible ‘Schengen wall.’ Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.Google Scholar
  57. Marusić, S. (2009, April 3). FYROM trade in alarming fall. Balkan Insight.Google Scholar
  58. Matutinović, I. (2009, February 19). Western Balkan transition countries faces their first recession. Heinrich Böll Stiftung.Google Scholar
  59. Montgomery, W. (2009, June 5). The Balkan mess redux. The New York Times.Google Scholar
  60. Mulchinock, N. (2017). NATO and the Western Balkans: From neutral spectator to proactive peacemaker. Houndmills: Palgrave.Google Scholar
  61. Noutcheva, G. (2012). European foreign policy and the challenges of Balkan accession: Conditionality, legitimacy and compliance. London and New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  62. O’Brennan, J. (2014). On the slow train to nowhere: The European Union, ‘enlargement fatigue’, and the Western Balkans. European Foreign Affairs Review, 19(2), 221–241.Google Scholar
  63. O’Reilly, M. (2016). Peace and justice through a feminist lens: Gender justice and the women’s court for the former Yugoslavia. Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, 10(3), 419–445.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Papadimitriou, D., & Petrov, P. (2013). State-building without recognition: A critical perspective of the European Union’s strategy in Kosovo (1999–2010). In A. Elbasani (Ed.), European integration and transformation in the Western Balkans (pp. 121–137). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  65. Perry, V. (2015). A cross-cutting survey of corruption and anti-corruption issues in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Overview, challenges and recommendations. Sarajevo: USAID.Google Scholar
  66. Peskin, V. A. (2008). International justice in Rwanda and the Balkans: Virtual trials and the struggle for state cooperation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Phinnemore, D. (2013). The stabilization and association process: A framework for European Union enlargement? In A. Elbasani (Ed.), European integration and transformation in the Western Balkans: Europeanization or business as usual? (pp. 22–37). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  68. Pospisil, J. (2019). Peace in political unsettlement: Beyond solving conflict. Houndmills: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Pula, B. (2014). Effects of the European financial and economic crisis in Kosovo and the Balkans: Modes of integration and transmission belts of crisis in the ‘super-periphery.’ East European Politics, 30(4), 507–525.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Radin, A. (2014). Analysis of current events: ‘Towards the rule of law in Kosovo: EULEX should go’. Nationalities Papers, 42(2), 181–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Rocha de Siqueira, I. (2017). Development by trial and error: The authority of good enough numbers. International Political Sociology, 11(2), 166–184.Google Scholar
  72. Rose, E. (2016, September 25). Bosnian Serbs defy state with referendum landslide. BIRN.Google Scholar
  73. Sebastian Aparicio, S. (2014). Post-war statebuilding and constitutional reform: Beyond Dayton in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Houndmills: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Simón, L. (2013). Geopolitical change, grand strategy and European security: The EU-NATO conundrum in perspective. Basingstoke: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Sotiropoulos, D. A. (2014). The social effects of the economic crisis in the Western Balkans: A case study of unreconstructed welfare regimes. Southeastern Europe, 38(2–3), 250–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Subotić, J. (2017). Building democracy in Serbia: One step forward, three steps back. In S. P. Ramet, C. M. Hassenstab, & O. Listhaug (Eds.), Building democracy in Yugoslav successor states: Accomplishments, setbacks, and challenges since 1990 (pp. 165–191). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Toal, G. (2013). ‘Republika Srpska will have a referendum’: The rhetorical politics of Milorad Dodik. Nationalities Papers, 41(1), 166–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Transparency International. (2013). National integrity system assessment: Bosnia and Herzegovina 2013. Banja Luka and Sarajevo: Transparency International.Google Scholar
  79. UNDP (United Nations Development Programme). (2008). Human development report 2007/08. New York: UNDP.Google Scholar
  80. UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime). (2008). Crime and its impact on the Balkans and affected countries. Vienna: UNODC.Google Scholar
  81. UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime). (2011). Corruption in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Bribery as experienced by the population. Vienna: UNODC.Google Scholar
  82. Vachudova, M. A. (2014). EU leverage and national interests in the Balkans. Journal of Common Market Studies, 52(1), 122–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Visoka, G. (2017). Shaping peace in Kosovo: The politics of peacebuilding and statehood. Houndmills: Palgrave.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Visoka, G., & Doyle, J. (2016). Neo-functional peace: The European Union way of resolving conflicts. Journal of Common Market Studies, 54(4), 862–877.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. Voloder, N. (2015). Transparent public procurement in Bosnia-Herzegovina: New solutions for an old problem. Sarajevo: Analitika Center for Social Research.Google Scholar
  86. von Homeyer, H. (2015, March 27). Don’t leave Serbia to Russia and China. EuObserver. https://euobserver.com/opinion/128157.
  87. Weller, M. (2009). Contested statehood: Kosovo’s struggle for independence. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Yakinthou, C. (2018). Fighting windmills, ignoring dragons: International assistance to civil society in post-conflict Bosnia-Herzegovina. In C. Yakinthou & P. Arthur (Eds.), Transitional justice, international assistance, and civil society: Missed connections (pp. 52–85). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Social ResearchUniversity of TrentoTrentoItaly

Personalised recommendations